I don’t really want to take about games right now. Fire Emblem Fates is just around the corner and I can’t see myself doing anything else when that hits. So until then I want to talk about something just as awesome. Cowboy Bebop is one of those shows that just hits every beat perfectly. Already being a massive fan of late 90s anime Bebop was an easy sell for me. My old boss suggested I watched it and described the series as cowboy bounty hunters in space. “Totally rad” I thought to myself and booted up Hulu to watch the first episode.
Cowboy Bebop takes that style of storytelling we see in anime of the time and injects it with what can only be described as hip. The show just has a sense of style so utterly unique. The episodes play out like a western. Each episode opens slow. The viewer gets an idea of the set up and over time the pacing picks up. Accented with an excellent score, each episode plays out as series protagonist Spike tracks down a bounty target to pay the bills.
Spike and his companions are outcasts. They don’t fit in anywhere, so instead they find their own place amongst the stars. The series deals with this crew coming to terms with their past and the loved ones they left and whom left them behind. It’s serialized, but these themes persist from episode to episode. The action is sparse in comparison to something like Dragon Ball Z. The show is almost all dialogue, sort of like a Tarantino flick (he obviously loves this show). That means when the shoot outs and fights do land they are that much more intense. A big problem with fighting anime for me is that most series run out of steam. Eventually we have seen these characters do impossible feats, and when the creators throw a new power or technique it just feels par for the course. Cowboy Bebop doesn’t suffer from that. Spike doesn’t jump power levels or go super Saiyan because he doesn’t need to. He is a completely capable dude whose problems are deeper and more introspective. They require more than a strong punch or a well placed gunshot.
That’s something I like about any show. When the characters and the problems they face transcend fighting and brawling it makes for great storytelling. There is a reason the idea of a Cowboy Bebop live action movie has been floating around forever. Much like Akira this is one of the greats. Whether you are a fan of anime or not this is one to check out. Watch this, some Akira, and then some Neon Genesis Evangelion, if you are still not a fan then I don’t know what to say.